Saturday, April 18, 2009

Customizing the Toolkit: Instance Creation & Voyager Export

For some time now we have been looking to replace our collections management and accessioning systems, which are obsolete both in platform and functionality. When the Toolkit was being developed we made the decision that since it would not fully meet our needs, we would not adopt it. A few years later, however, committed to consolidating our systems into an open-source alternative, we have reversed course and decided to move to the AT. Since the latest version (1.5) still does not fully capture our existing systems functionality we have contracted out the modification of the Toolkit to meet two specific needs: 1) improved container (e.g. Instance) creation; and 2) Voyager export functionality.

Container/Instance creation

Although version 1.5 of the AT comes with customizable Rapid Data Entry (RDE) Screens and “sticky” values for improved data (e.g. Instance) entry, it is still time consuming to enter information for large collections. Here is a screenshot of a RDE I created for Instance creation:

AT 1.5 allows for the creation of one item at a time with no option for batch creation and no automatic assignment of successive box numbers. Here is a screenshot of our current system:

This system features the capability of populating successive items/containers, either next or n-multiple lines. It also allows for assignment of location info, which the AT does in a separate module

What we are building might look something like the following:

Voyager export functionality

To easily export collection information from the AT to our ILS (Voyager) we need to add the following fields to each instance: 1) VoyagerBib; 2) VoyagerHolding; 3) Date (last changed); and 4) Restriction. This will require a redesign of the Resources and Instances module to include these new fields, as well as the incorporation of a script (triggered by an Export to Voyager button) to process newly entered data in the proper format for export into our ILS. We already use a similar script to do this work with our current system, so it shouldn’t be much work to modify it for use with the AT.

Although it is unlikely we will complete all of our work for the next release of the AT, we hope to finish in time for incorporation into the next AT release.

No comments:

Post a Comment